Magical Dean Ashton: The Daily Mirror

Dean Ashton is back on the scoresheet but will have to play through pain barrier for another year.

The West Ham hit-man scored his first goal since the 2006 FA Cup final defeat by Liverpool after missing the whole of last season with a broken ankle.ADVERTISING

It has been a long and winding road back for Ashton as he suffered complication after complication in his rehabilitation from an injury he sustained in training while on England duty last August.

He needed two operations to repair his ankle – and the key to keeping his spirits high during a season of gloom for Hammers last term was “a little bit of magic.”

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley brought in Italian sports psychologist Roberto Forzoni to give his players a lift last season. Forzoni, a member of the Magic Circle, entertained the squad with tricks from his repertoire. n.

“He is a good man to have around the place,” said Ashton. I know him from when I played with England under 17s. I have always liked the way he does things. He has been around a long time, and he knows his stuff.”